Sunday, March 14, 2021

8 QUESTION WITH...

By Eva Fydrych

continued_studio FW21 (Photos by Koji Shimamura and courtesy of AFC)


 

"Not only the techniques of making clothes, but also the communication methods and distribution channels are changing." - Newman Han


Our super popular interview series "8 Questions With..." is back! Today, we would like to present you South Korean fashion brand, continued_studio, which just recently showcased their FW21 collection at the prestigious New York Fashion Week.

The show was organised by Asia Fashion Collection (AFC), an incubation project produced and supported by Vantan Inc. and PARCO CO., LTD, which discovers and promotes most promising up-and-coming Asian designers to a worldwide audience during their annual NYFW event.

Newman Han, the Director of continued_studio, took us on an inspiring journey behind the scenes of the show, shared his key insights into the current state of fashion and his carefully-crafted vision for the brand. Enjoy our exclusive interview below!








FASHION STUDIO: What attracted you to the fashion world in the first place? What fashion means to you? 

NEWMAN: The reason why I first became interested in fashion was Nike shoes and hip-hop culture, which were popular during my school days. However, after graduating from high school, I majored in finance and economics, so I considered fashion as a small concern.

But while I was in college, I got a lot of fashion information through magazines and the Internet, and I became interested in high fashion again, so I decided to change my major to fashion. And I dreamed of becoming a designer by winning several competitions in Korea and abroad. I entered a fashion company after graduating from university. After that, I felt that my style became more solid based on my experience in menswear, womenswear, sports, and outdoor brands. 

After that, we launched continued_studio.

Fashion feels like endless knowledge to me. For many years, I have learned while working as a fashion designer in various fields, but I think I should constantly learn and study because new designs and new methods continue to emerge and consumers' thoughts change rapidly.



Newman Han, Director of continued_studio (Photo courtesy of AFC)



FASHION STUDIO: How long ago did you start designing? Please tell us about your beginnings in more detail.

NEWMAN: Before the brand launch, I worked as a designer at a fashion company for 7 to 8 years. At first, I started out as a men's clothing designer in Korea and learned about suits and tailoring. At that time, interest in men's clothing began to increase in Korea, and it was a time when excellent Korean designers entered the Paris collection, so they naturally began to work on men's clothing designs. After working as a women's clothing designer in Singapore for a while, I returned to Korea and became interested in functional materials and styles, working for sports and outdoor brands.



Photo courtesy of AFC (Click to enlarge)



FASHION STUDIO: How would you describe your brand and the philosophy behind it? What is your main source of inspiration? What makes you unique? What are your strongest points? Who do you design for? 

NEWMAN: continued_studio is a high fashion brand inspired by past clothes and creating contemporary clothes through new techniques and materials in the future, aiming to connect the past, present, and future with a continuous design of continued_studio.

Based on inspiration from exploring clothes in the past, continued_studio presents designs through a utility approach and new silhouettes through sports/outdoor techniques and sewing methods based on functional materials. 

The advantage of continued_studio is that it makes new silhouettes and designs into functional materials, so it focuses on comfortable fit and clothes that are easy to manage.

So continued_studio is trying to make valuable clothes that people can wear even after 10 years.



continued_studio FW21 (Photo by Koji Shimamura)

continued_studio FW21 (Photo by Koji Shimamura)



FASHION STUDIO: How does your typical day look like? 

NEWMAN: Usually, when designing, in addition to sketching in the office, there are many cases of going to factories or going around to buy fabric or other materials. However, since there are meetings or interviews with companies while working, they mix formal and casual styles appropriately. 

I usually wear wide pants, oversized shirts, functional outerwear or blouse. I like a mix & match look. 



South Korean designer Newman Han in his studio (Photo courtesy of the designer)



FASHION STUDIO: Which fashion designers do you admire and why? 

NEWMAN: I really like many designers, so it's hard to pick.

If I respect designers, they are emerging designers from various countries, including London, Paris, New York, Tokyo, and Seoul, and they inspire me with brilliant ideas and novelty in any sense.

The most respected designer for running the brand is Rei Kawakubo. Not only in Japan, but all over the world, designers were inspired by her and became designers, and she has such a wonderful system to support them. 


FASHION STUDIO: How was the experience of showing your collection at NYFW? What were your main challengesWhat did you enjoy most? 

NEWMAN: This New York collection experience was a new experience. Since the AFC (Asia Fashion Collection), the platform that helped me make my debut in the New York collection, is hosted in Japan, I produced digital videos in Japan. As you know, it is difficult to go to New York or Tokyo during the Covid-19 pandemic, so I and the Japanese staff had a meeting using ZOOM or video call. Also, on the day of filming, clothes fitting and filming-related meetings were all made through a video call.

It felt very futuristic or globalized that video calls from Seoul and Tokyo were broadcast from the New York collection.

It was definitely regrettable compared to going to New York and doing a show myself, but in the Covid-19 situation, designers and the fashion industry were making great efforts to overcome the difficulties. 

The important goal of our New York Collection was to showcase the core design of Continued_studio in the new market, and although there were many difficult situations, it produced good results after AFC's efforts.



Video courtesy of AFC



FASHION STUDIO: What are your thoughts on the ever changing fashion environment? How are you staying up-to-date with the latest trends in the industry including the use of social media and technology? Have you got plans to incorporate more technology into your designs in the future? 

NEWMAN: It has become difficult for us to operate the brand in the traditional way because not only the techniques of making clothes, but also the communication methods and distribution channels are changing. Not only technical aspects, but also consumer perceptions and social environmental changes are taking place. 

In this situation, if I had only acquired fashion-related information from the past, it wouldn't be sufficient. Now many designers, including myself, are trying to acquire a variety of social, environmental, and technical information. Whether it is daily news or social stories, they are acquiring information in many fields. 

continued_studio is also planning a new platform and distribution beyond the existing brand method.

continued_studio is a brand that always pursues future concepts and materials. Thus, instead of pursuing only technological innovations in making clothes, we try to combine technology and fashion in various ways to make the brand feel innovative.



continued_studio FW21 (Photo by Koji Shimamura)

continued_studio FW21 (Photo by Koji Shimamura)

continued_studio FW21 (Photo by Koji Shimamura)

continued_studio FW21 (Photo by Koji Shimamura)



FASHION STUDIO: Which fashion trends for 2021 would you recommend? 

NEWMAN: Not only street or techwear, but also functional clothes will become a trend in everyday clothes. The appearance of functional materials has evolved to the point where they appear to be everyday clothing, and will no longer be used exclusively by sports brands, outdoor brands, or techwear brands.

Shirts and tailored pants are recommended for oversized coats with functional materials. It would be even better if the shirts and pants were easy to manage from wrinkles and pollution. 


FASHION STUDIO: Thank you so much for your time and for answering all our questions. We can't wait to see more of your designs soon!



Video courtesy of AFC


www.instagram.com/continued_studio


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